1 9 9 7 (USA)
12 x 60 minute episodes
Total Security is a Culver City (California) based private detective organisation that provides personal home security, threat assessment, skip tracing, and counterintelligence at the corporate level and to the rich and famous.
The company was founded by Frank Cisco (James Remar), a former LAPD homicide detective who left the police force when he felt he could do more to help people by attacking crime from outside the system. “Law enforcement responds to the crimes committed; we do certain work after the fact to those who won’t or can’t turn to the police for help.”
Charisma-challenged Frank is 40 years old and hates celebrating birthdays as it reminds him he is getting a year older.
He is totally honest and draws the line at anything immoral, illegal or unprofessional – “I deal straight up with everyone.” While Frank may be forthright and upstanding, he is rather cold and harsh (people say he “needs people skills”).
Even though Frank is no longer a cop, he thinks like one and uses his prior experiences to help him nab criminals. He has feelings for his clients and does show remorse when a case turns bad.
Steve Wegman, Jodie Kiplinger and Ellie Jones are Frank’s operatives.
Steve (Jim Belushi) is a sleazy, irreverent, fast-talking slob who relies on underhanded methods – from lying to stealing – to satisfy a client. Steve also cons clients into paying the money they owe (Frank appears to have many clients who do not pay their bills) and relishes setting up stings to apprehend criminals.
Jodie (Debrah Farentino) is a recent widow whose husband, a cop, killed himself when the pressures of his job became overwhelming. By the third episode, she and Frank began a relationship.
Jodie was born in Los Angeles and is a graduate of UCLA. She carries a .38 for backup and is too sure of herself. She feels she can handle any case alone; Frank fears her overconfidence will eventually cost Jodie her life.
Ellie (Tracey Needham) – who is called “Jonesy” by everyone – often goes undercover when a sexy or ditzy blonde is required for a sting. She is a native Californian and attended Berkeley. She often complains about the equipment she has to sometimes wear to record evidence.
She most objects to wearing a micro camera she calls a “cleavage cam” in her bra because she has to get suspects to look at her breasts to record their faces.
Also working for Frank are Neville, Geneva and George.
George (Bill Brochtrup) keeps the books and complains about overdue bills (and Frank’s habit of taking cases for free). Nevil is Frank’s electronics expert and inventor of the “Cleavage Cam.” He is an expert at phone tapping, computer hacking, and satellite surveillance and is responsible for installing the company’s rather costly security systems – $50,000 and up.
Geneva (Kristin Bauer) is the firm’s receptionist and has a secretarial degree from El Camino College. While she has message-taking and dictation skills, she was principally hired because she said she would not be interested in an acting career (Frank’s prior receptionists were all apparently bitten by the acting bug and quit.)
Only six of the filmed episodes aired before ABC cancelled the show.
Detective Howie Levon